Google My Business: 7 Methods to Improve Your Local Ranking on Google
Google offers a free tool called Google My Business (GMB) for all types of businesses, from local businesses to large companies. By just opening an account or business profile on GMB, your local business can improve your online presence.
Many have claimed that they already have a profile on GMB but not seeing improvements in their ranking. The problem lies with not everyone not taking advantage of its full features. In this article, you are going to learn several methods to improve your local ranking on Google.
The Google Algorithm
Since local ranking was mentioned, then we should also discuss the algorithm of Google. This is the software responsible for giving out the ranks in search engine results by using several factors. So, understanding these factors that determine local rankings is important. Here are 3 main factors that the algorithm takes into consideration:
When talking about local ranking, it pertains to how popular you are within the local community. Distance then is a crucial factor for this to work. The algorithm will present in the search results all local businesses within the area of the customer.
For example, a local business offering vestibular physiotherapy in North York should link their GMB profile to Google Maps so people within that area can easily find it.
Another factor considered by Google for local rankings is how your online presence is perceived by clients. Are you active enough to readily answer queries? Do you mostly get positive reviews? Positive answers to these questions will be taken into consideration by the algorithm.
This factor pertains to the type of business you are offering. It all boils down to the keyword/s being used in the search box. If your business is relevant to the keywords being used then the algorithm will include it.
For example, a potential client searching for a Toronto SEO company will be presented by Google with all companies offering SEO services within that area. To sum up, the result all pertains to SEO.
7 Methods to Improve Local Ranking
As mentioned, utilizing the features of Google My Business will improve your local ranking. Here are the 7 methods to follow:
1.Verified and Claimed Profile
After account creation and for any profile update Google will ask for verification. You should not skip it. Doing so will help make your profile more trustworthy compared to others who skipped the process.This will also add positive points for the algorithm to consider. You also have the option to get the paid option of Google, which is the Google Guaranteed badge. Having this badge on your profile will surely convince more prospective clients to steer in your direction.
2.Complete and Regularly Updated Profile
Reaping the full benefits of GMB means keeping your profile up to date. Check the local search results panel if all information is displayed correctly. This will include the following:
- Business Category
- Contact Number
- Operational Hours
- Website Link
- Name of Business
- GMB Profile Linked with Google Maps
Some potential clients will use Google Maps to verify locations of businesses that are near to them. A local business may be the nearest, by walking distance, but maybe far when travelling by car.
Having your business profile linked with Google Maps will make it easier for potential clients to check on your location and what best mode of transport to use in going there. A potential client looking for the nearest clinic for sports injury treatments Kitchener, for example, will make it easy for them to navigate to your location.
- Forum Section Being Set Up
Some prospective clients will not transfer to your website or contact you just to ask questions. Upon finding your profile and discovering that you have a forum set up for questions and answers, they will surely appreciate it. However, make sure that you check in regularly or have someone supervise it so you can attend immediately to all queries and to help prevent other persons from answering the queries with wrong or misleading information. The quicker you answer queries, the more points for you for the algorithm.
- Profile With High-Quality Pictures
A picture can convey a thousand words. This phrase is useful for your business profile as the majority of prospective clients favour profiles with photos. According to a study, a profile with high-quality photos will get 35% more traffic.
This is comparable to a company brochure. A brochure filled with photos and information will surely garner much attention over a text-filled one, no matter how informative it is. Effective marketing is to harness enticement and what better way to entice than to provide actual pictures of what you offer to the public.
- Active Review Section
Most potential clients will check the review section first of any business before engaging business with it. Nothing attracts more clients than having a 4 or 5-star rating. Positive comments and even reviews will propel your local business in the community.
Reviews are similar to word-of-mouth marketing where good things are easily spread across communities. Of course, to get positive reviews means customers were satisfied with your treatment of them.
- Active Business Profile
As with any type of online account that wants more traffic and followers, you must provide regular updates including promotional announcements. Whatever content you recently posted on your website you should share it as well on your business profile.
Post regularly, at least once a week so your profile will look active and eager to please customers. Updates of marketing campaigns coupled with calls to action will surely inspire potential clients to check your website or even visit your place of business.
To sum all up, those are the 7 methods to fully utilize Google My Business in improving your local ranking. You have nothing to lose since most of them are free (except the guaranteed badge).
It just takes regular attention in doing updates and answering questions. Google is truly a partner for business with its free tools. Gone are the days of spending much on advertisements. As a local business, you have the chance to equally compete with big companies regarding online marketing and ranking.